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FA Cup

  • 18 February 2012
  • • 17:15
  • • Stadium of Light, Sunderland
  • Referee: H. Webb
  • • Attendance: 26042

Sunderland - Arsenal Preview: Gunners look to put disappointment of Champions League behind them with FA Cup victory

After a 4-0 defeat at San Siro, Arsene Wenger's men must pick themselves up against a side they defeated in the dying moments in the Premier League last week


Bardsley, O'Shea, Turner, Richardson
Larsson, Colback, Gardner, McClean

Sagna, Djourou, Vermaelen, Gibbs
Ramsey, Song, Arteta
Walcott, Van Persie, Oxlade-Chamberlain

Sunderland have no fresh injury worries coming into their FA Cup tie with Arsenal and so are likely to field an unchanged 11 from the last time out, which incidentally was against the Gunners in the Premier League.

Arsenal on the other hand have plenty to think about after their chastening defeat to AC Milan on Wednesday night. They will have to contend without defender Laurent Koscielny who picked up a knee injury in the loss.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is likely to be restored to the starting line-up having been left out against Milan, with Tomas Rosicky to start from the bench. Kieran Gibbs will continue his comeback from injury at left back.

Thierry Henry will no longer be available as his loan from New York Red Bulls expired on Thursday.


  • Despite taking charge of one less game than Steve Bruce this season, Sunderland have scored eight more goals under Martin O’Neill.
  • The Black Cats have lost 11 games this season in all competitions, just three of which have come under O’Neill (pictured right).
  • Sunderland have scored just nine goals more than Robin van Persie has in all competitions this season.
  • Robin van Persie is the top scorer at Arsenal this season with 28 goals, with the next best - Theo Walcott - having scored six.
  • Arsenal gave conceded the same amount of goals away from home in the Premier League this season as Sunderland have both home and away.
  • The Gunners have only kept only two clean sheets since the turn of the year, one of which was in the FA Cup.

Players to watch

S. Sessègnon

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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While Sunderland haven’t always shone this season, their mainstay throughout a difficult period has been Stephane Sessegnon.

He has been a creative force this season and expect him to continue the good form which has seen him score six goals and grab seven assists in all competitions.

R. van Persie

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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Arsenal have been as close to a one man team as you’re likely to see this season, with their captain scoring half of his side's goals (28) in all competitions.

Van Persie has also laid on eight goals for his team-mates this season and, if they play well, will be their key man here again.

Editor's Prediction

Arsenal are likely to be scarred from their demoralising defeat at the hands of AC Milan and may find the going tough against Martin O’Neill’s confident Mackems.

The sides' meeting earlier this month is likely to have little bearing on this game and Sessegnon could prove the difference between the teams.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head




Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Sunderland AFC SUN
Sunderland AFC Sunderland
Arsenal FC ARS
Arsenal FC Arsenal

Top 3 Predictions

Sunderland AFC SUN
1 - 2
Arsenal FC ARS
Sunderland AFC SUN
1 - 3
Arsenal FC ARS
Sunderland AFC SUN
0 - 2
Arsenal FC ARS